January 2024 | VOL. 3, ISSUE 1

President's Corner

Greetings, and happy new year!

2024 already is off to a busy start, given the January 10th launch of the General Assembly's 446th Session; implementation hurdles with the Blueprint for Maryland's Future; and, of course, the many ongoing difficulties school board members encounter (and overcome!).

But if there's one thing I know through learning from my school board colleagues throughout Maryland over the years, it's that school boards will continue to rise to the challenge of helping ensure excellence in Maryland public education, and in doing so, inspire so many people who greatly benefit from those efforts.

This MABE Scoop issue brings you information on January 2024's "Maryland School Board Recognition Month," an update from MABE Executive Director Milt Nagel on new available resources tied to Blueprint implementation efforts, a reminder on recently launched MABE programs and upcoming MABE trainings, relevant headlines, and more.

A quick reminder that school board members and superintendents are invited to gather at Monday, February 5th's MABE 2024 Legislative Day Reception, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm at the Governor Calvert House (58 State Circle) in Annapolis. This timely event will be a prime opportunity to discuss MABE's 2024 legislative priorities, and engage in lively discussions about lawmakers' perspectives on education funding and other core policy issues. You can find additional details about this well-attended event on this page.

Thank you for your invaluable efforts and involvement -- they make all the difference!

~ Michelle Corkadel (Anne Arundel County)

MABE President

Governor Moore Names January 2024 "Maryland School Board Recognition Month"

Early this month Maryland Governor Wes Moore released a Proclamation naming January 2024 "Maryland School Board Recognition Month." In his Proclamation applauding local school boards' "work to ensure a rigorous and world-class educational experience for every Maryland student," the Governor specified how greatly Maryland students benefit from school boards "providing access to essential academic, social, emotional, and economic supports." (For newer school board members, Governor Moore's Proclamation follows Sen. Chris Van Hollen's related, earlier Congressional Record statement, praising Maryland local school boards' devotion, commitment and resilience.)

Also in honor of Maryland School Board Recognition Month, Maryland State Board of Education President Clarence C. Crawford joined MABE Executive Director Milt Nagel earlier this month in proudly sharing with each of Maryland's dedicated local school boards a Certificate of Appreciation, singling out each respective school board's strong leadership of their local schools and students, and applauding their "hard work, dedication, and achievement."

Thank you to local school boards throughout Maryland from the entire team at MABE for your unflagging efforts in working to meet our collective vision of serving as champions for excellence in public education! Your talents, innovation and selfless efforts are truly appreciated by so many throughout our State.

If you would like digital copies of Gov. Moore's Proclamation and/or your school board's Certificate of Appreciation which have been snailmailed to board presidents, please contact Jen Beltz.

(Click for Twitter thread)

Executive Director's Update

Local school board members throughout Maryland continue to charge forward in Blueprint for Maryland's Future implementation efforts, and are doing all they can to see that this enormous initiative leads to success for Maryland students.

At MABE, we see, hear and value your incredible efforts in this challenging area, and a central part of our job is to support your important work as much as we can.

On this front, we've added to our existing legislative efforts at MABE by engaging an Annapolis lobbying firm to help us in our collective efforts to see that key modifications and improvements are made this Legislative Session to the Blueprint. You can find specifics on what MABE is calling for by visiting here.

Related, we also have launched our new legislative software, Voter Voice. If you're not already familiar with it, Voter Voice gives MABE members the capability to quickly, easily, and efficiently reach key lawmakers with our specific legislative requests -- not only concerning the Blueprint, but on numerous priority issues. With just a few clicks, you now will be able to send to key lawmakers targeted, pre-written messages ranging from needed changes to the Blueprint, to approval of positive bills and opposition to bills we don't support.

The number and quality of messages lawmakers receive very much help define legislative outcomes, and the more messages they receive, the more influence you, your school board and MABE have. As such, I can't overemphasize how much your participation matters -- particularly given the tough fiscal years to come.

We ask that you be on the lookout for future Voter Voice messages from MABE, and that you click to participate in this new, much-needed process. Doing so can immeasurably help Maryland's local school systems in the important year ahead, and can help put you and your colleagues in the driver's seat when it comes to positive legislative outcomes.

With sincere gratitude for all you do for public education in Maryland each day,

Milt Nagel

Executive Director, MABE

As we move into the 2024 Legislative Session, a brief reminder that MABE's 2023-2024 Continuing Resolutions document reflecting MABE's most recent related actions from our October 2, 2023 Annual Business Meeting is available here on the MABE website.

Also available on our website are MABE's 2024 Legislative Positions and Priorities document, focused on MABE's positions on core legislative issues and our membership's priorities for the 2024 Legislative Session. You can access this document here.

For updates on MABE's legislative priorities, activity, or MABE's new legislative software, please contact MABE Governmental Affairs Director John Woolums. You can also find a variety of state and federal advocacy resources on the MABE website here.

Questions about MABE's legal priorities and activity, or MABE's ongoing "Leading for Educational Equity Through School Board Governance" project and trainings? Please contact Debra Daniel, MABE Director of Legal & Policy Services.

Progress Underway on Two MABE Statewide Initiatives

Last month MABE distributed a press release sharing details of significant progress achieved in our MABE Health Center Program through Everside Health, and the MABE-MACo Time to Care Act Collaborative.

  • The MABE Health Center Program is helping combat skyrocketing health care costs for school systems, while improving access to quality primary care for public school system employees and their families. The Maryland General Assembly issued an $875k grant in its 2023 session for up-front costs to assist with establishing the new health centers. Since the program's launch in early 2023, St. Mary's, Washington and Wicomico Counties have board-approved centers projected to open before the end of the fiscal year, joining the already-established Queen Anne's County Health Center.

  • The Time to Care Act mandates paid leave under certain conditions for Maryland employees. Via the joint MABE-MACo Time to Care Act Collaborative, MABE and MACo have been instrumental in efforts to pull together as many school systems, county governments, and other local government organizations as possible in efforts to increase purchasing power with national vendors who will administer the program. In the process, MABE expects to help save school systems millions of tax dollars which instead can be redirected into other budgetary needs.

For further information about joining the MABE Health Center Program and/or the MABE-MACo Time to Care Act Collaborative, contact MABE Executive Director Milt Nagel.

Upcoming Trainings & Events

New Board Member Orientation

Thursday, January 25

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

(Includes 30-min. lunch break)


(VIRTUAL Training)


NSBA Equity Symposium

Saturday, January 27

Details and Pricing Information

Effective Policy Making

Thursday, February 29

9:30 am - 11:30 am



Boosting Your Impact Through More Effective Board Teamwork

Thursday, February 29

12:30 - 3:00 pm



Note: Pair this session with the Feb. 29th Effective Policy Making training (above) in the morning for a full day of learning! Lunch will be provided to those attending both session in person.

MABE trainings for throughout 2024 are available on our website or by scanning the QR code below. 

Additional trainings will be offered as the need or issue arises. There is a charge of $75 per person per training unless otherwise indicated.

Please note that event registration closes at 10:00 am on the business day prior to each event's occurrence.

School Boards Operating in a New Age: The Pressing Need for Vision & Accountability

Thursday, March 7

10:00 am - 12:30 pm



School Boards Operating in a New Age: The Pressing Need for Vision & Accountability

Saturday, March 9

9:00 - 11:30 am



Crisis Communication How-Tos

Thursday, March 21

1:00 - 3:00 pm



IN THE NEWS: Recent Headlines

Note: Some publications may require subscriptions.

The Baltimore Sun (1/16/24)

Maryland's education board seeks public input on state superintendent search in town halls, survey

WAMU (1/8/24)

MD State Sen. William Smith says state legislators looking for ways to ease cost burden for local school districts during upcoming session

Maryland Matters (12/18/23)

School systems to receive more time to develop next Blueprint plan submissions

Washington Post (12/29/23)

Maryland school districts struggling to comply with ‘Blueprint’ law

The Southern Maryland Chronicle (12/1/23)

Letter-to-the-Editor from Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) (re: proposed College and Career Readiness Standard)

The Center Square (11/17/23)

MABE provides feedback on proposed College and Career Readiness Standard

Maryland Matters (11/14/23)

MABE President Michelle Corkadel quoted in feature on Blueprint implementation and funding

The Southern Maryland Chronicle (11/24/23)

MABE perspective included in article on proposed College and Career Readiness standard

CBS News Baltimore (12/7/23)

Anne Arundel County Public Schools adopting new curriculum that will shift the way children learn

WTOP (1/6/24)

Montgomery County expanding partnership between Montgomery Public Schools and Montgomery College

WDVM (1/8/24)

Nearly 700 students are homeless in Washington County; one formerly homeless student giving back to the school system

Fox 5 DC (12/8/23)

DC public schools begin turning away students who are behind on immunization requirements

The BayNet (12/13/23)

Teachers, Students, Parents and Executives Discuss the State of Southern Maryland Education

Maryland Matters (12/14/23)

Commentary: Maryland’s public school boards take the lead on climate action for a better future

CSNMA (1/7/24)

Washington Capitals announced partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools to introduce hockey to more than 93,000 students across the County’s 167 schools through the Capitals Hockey School Program

Sierra Sun Times (12/18/23)

(Release): U.S. Senator Mike Lee introduces Accelerating Children’s Education (ACE) Act to bolster educational choices for American families

WJZ (12/16/23)

Howard County Board of Education announces new interim superintendent, Bill Barnes, to begin January 10

The Daily Record (1/3/24)

Maryland Energy Administration to help public schools reduce carbon emissions

NSBA (12/12/23)

Back-to-school statistics: Students in rural public schools

WGMD -FM (12/13/23)

New study: Truancy an even bigger problem for public schools since pandemic

Maryland Matters (12/30/23)

Maryland higher ed officials focusing on collaboration, teacher training to boost Blueprint reform plan


EdTech: Focus on K-12 (12/20/23)

5 K-12 Ed Tech trends to follow in 2024

The 74 (12/7/23)

Empty desks: New absenteeism report shows dramatic surge in suburban, rural & Latino students missing class

Scripps News (11/20/23)

What’s driving the trend of school-age kids vaping?

Education Week (12/15/23)

5 challenges school district leaders will face in 2024

WBFF (12/17/23)

Taking stock of “school choice,” the latest education trend sweeping the country

New America (12/8/23)

Five trends & challenges in youth apprenticeship program implementation


Thomas B. Fordham Institute (1/4/24)

3 rules for doing educational equity right

Educational Equity Institute (12/17/23)

Barriers to educational equity


Vox (1/17/24)

The Supreme Court is running away from transgender rights cases

The Hill (12/31/23)

From Supreme Court rulings to protests, AI to school choice: 2023 rocked education

WBOC (12/11/23)

Somerset County Public Schools filing suit against social media companies

Orlando Sentinel (12/13/23)

3 teachers challenge Florida pronoun law in federal lawsuit

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